June 22, 2007

New “Grounds Committee” Needs Volunteers

In the last few seasons, homeowners have noticed a decline in the condition of some of Victor Gardens parks and Common Areas. To begin correcting problems, homeowners suggested forming a neighborhood "Grounds Committee".   

The theory behind forming this committee was for residents to do a better job of monitoring and preserving Victor Gardens parks and common spaces.  Essentially - Neighbors wanted to take more responsibility for their surroundings.  

One of the problems we've seen is the time it takes to fix simple problems.  For example, a homeowner notices that a sprinkler head is not working, she waits for a few weeks to see if the mowing crew will fix it.  After waiting, she sends Mark an email, then it’s forwarded to Gina Higgins, then Gina writes a work order and speaks to the contractor, the contractor puts the sprinkler on his to do list, and schedules the repair for the next time he is in VG, etc, etc, .... You can see that this process is unnecessarily long - and it hasn't been working for us.

Some have asked if it’s a measure to save the VG Community Association money.  In part that’s correct - but not the overall goal.  The Committee will hopefully be able to save money by correctly diagnosing small problems when they arise, and work to quickly fix the issues before major damage occurs (like large patches of dead turf or burned-out fountain pumps).  The goal is to help preserve the beauty of the neighborhood.  Saving money is just another positive outcome.

I have asked for volunteers and have received a good response so far.  Some of the members responsibilities will be: mapping out the irrigation systems & reporting specific problems (such as a broken sprinkler heads in Zone 4), following up on repairs, and taking an more active role in minor maintenance jobs (like fountain clean-up, tennis court windscreen repairs, etc.).  The Committee will be broken up into small groups, with each having it's own area of interest.  For example, one group will fix the tennis court windscreen when needed, another will do routine clean-up in the Jardin Fountain, others small groups will monitor sprinkler systems in Val Jean Park, Arbre Park, and Poet's Green.  These are not the only interests of the Grounds Committee, but a great beginning nevertheless.

Of course, the Grounds Committee does not intend to take over the ultimate responsibility of these systems. Members will mainly supplement and monitor the work that the contractors and the City of Hugo already perform.  It will be made up of individuals who have some technical experience, mechanical ability, and those who can monitor sprinklers because they live adjacent to the Parks and Common Areas.

I'm happy that homeowners are taking the initiative and working towards a better Victor Gardens. I hope we all will support the goals of the Grounds Committee.  When the Committee groups are formed and working, I'm sure we'll all see positive progress.

As of today we have some volunteers for:

Poet’s Green

The Jardin Fountain Area

The Val Jean Tennis Courts

Val Jean Park

We still need volunteers for:

Victor Square

Main Entrance Areas

Neighborhood Activity Center & Pool

Arbre Park

Planning Fall & Spring neighborhood cleanup events.

Please email mark@victorgardensnews.org to volunteer for the Grounds Committee.

Garden Matter Still Unresolved

As many of you know, the Garden area near where the Land Office used to sit is the source of some controversy.  Some of the issues relate to the responsibility of irrigation, plantings, and budget.  Charles Kirk, who represents Victor Gardens Townhomes residents, CPDC, the developers, and I need to work together to solve these problems.

Despite the great efforts of Victor Gardens Garden Committee, the current state of the Garden is a disappointment to many of us.  Whether we live in the townhomes or the single-family homes, we must work together to settle the issues.  Until that time, unfortunately, major improvements to the Garden will be delayed.


June 21, 2007

USA Karate to Open in August

Thanks to Phil Stein for forwarding info about one of Victor Gardens future retail businesses:

“...We will be opening our Hugo location sometime in August 2007.  We offer a free 15 minute introductory class to all new students (by appointment only).  This introductory class allows you to try out some karate moves, see our school, and meet some of our instructors.  If you enjoy your free introductory class, we have another trial opportunity called our one month special.  The one month special is $29.95, includes a karate uniform, and allows you to attend class twice a week for four weeks.  If you would like us to contact you to schedule a free introductory class closer to opening, please contact us.  Also, if you would like more information please call us at (651) 998-0960. Thank You, Lisa Pruden Director of Operations USA Karate Office: (651) 998-0960 Cell:     (651) 248-1502 Fax;     (651) 998-0961 Email:  usakaratewoodbury@yahoo.com<mailto:usakaratewoodbury@yahoo.com> Website:  www.usa-karate.net <http://www.usa-karate.net>”

Maintenance Update: Irrigation & Drinking Fountain

According to Chris Petree, Hugo’s Director of Public Works, the sprinkler watering systems in Arbre Park and Val Jean Park were started yesterday.  The drinking fountain in Val Jean Park was also started yesterday.  In the future, the watering for Val Jean and Arbre Parks will be the responsibility of the City. 

For your reference, a list of Parks responsibilities can be viewed by clicking here

From what I’ve heard from neighbors, the common areas sprinklers have also been turned on.  I will speak with Gina Higgins for confirmation.

June 19, 2007

More Work Done by Shelly Tompkins of CPDC

I received an email from Shelly Tompkins, Vice President of CPDC recently.  She’s been working on many projects in Victor Gardens.  Here’s a few excerpts from her message:

I spent most of the day Saturday doing clean-up around the neighborhood.  Here are things still outstanding:

•I brought it to the site, but my tractor can not mow the empty lots.  Most of the lots are too rugged/uneven for that type of equipment and requires a larger equipment approach or weed whipping.   I can't personally do either one, so we have to find an alternative.  As a courtesy, Early Bird did the remaining "alley lots", but not the remaining empty lots in the neighborhood.  Unfortunately, I don't have enough arm or back muscle to weed whip them...it would take me about 20 hrs!   I did get the village green in the East Phase (west of the creek) whipped, however.  With limited funding, I'm doing some research on how to accomplish the remaining...

•I left the site with the intention of bringing the rusted barrels with me, but then forgot them.  I have them on my "to-do" list and will get them out of there this week. 

•The entry median fountain was not entirely resolved.  I paved the edge of the curb, repositioned the urn, planted a minimum amount to test the success due to lack of water and mulched the remainder.  I tried to plastic cover the cement area with the intention of covering it with mulch for a temporary fix.  The rain weighted the plastic down and mulch would make it even worse.  I'm going to have to come up with an alternative temporary fix.  I have contacted a couple of nursery garden friends for advice and am waiting to hear back from them. 

•The two temporary entry structures were too heavy for me to move to the garden.  I will need more muscle help for that one.  I'll be working in it this week.

•The retail owner took our single family/townhome signs down at the entrance and put up those two "lovely" RETAIL SALE signs.  I layed the signs down on the mulch behind the fence on the west side and will decide what to do with them. 

•I moved the sign from the garden to north of the bridge, but just layed it down.  I'll be installing it there this week. 

The other items on my check list were complete....

June 18, 2007

Opinions Needed About Tennis Court Windscreen

The green fabric windscreen attached to the tennis court fencing has broken loose again.  Neighborhood opinions are needed regarding this subject.